Giro di Muscoli Stage 2 Hook of Holland – Arnhem, 162km

Photo: All set and ready for the big day

Stage 2 Hook of Holland – Arnhem, Sunday 13th Sep

Standing at the start of the big day in the Netherlands I spotted the Stena ferry arriving at the Hook of Holland. If we had stuck to the original plan we would have been on that ferry, and late for the start.

As it was we were in good time and ready to go. I had arranged to start in the first group of riders with a plan to drop back between the groups so that I could ride with every body and say thank you to every rider in person. That meant about 50 conversations and thank yous along the way.

It all started so well. The wind was behind us, it was dry and warm. Perfect for cycling. After 25km I said my goodbyes to the first group and waited for the second group. Working my way through the second group of riders we suddenly stopped for a photo opportunity in Rotterdam. As I started to explain to the group that we couldn’t take too long just in case the the third group rode past us and I would miss them, guess what. Exactly that happened.

I left the second group to their photo session and chased down the third group. I caught them after about 5km of time trailing only discover that they were in fact the fourth group. They had over taken the third group. At the rest stop I waited for the third group which was by now the fourth group. Upon realising I hadn’t spoken to every one in the second group before they stopped for photos I joined the second group to complete my task, then dropped back to the third group, or were they the fourth group? I can’t remember, but by the time we got to the finish in Arnhem I had indeed ridden with every group and said thank you to them all.

I was so busy chatting that I didn’t take many photos. There was an official photographer so I’ll add those when I get them.

Arriving at the finish, I was in the last group, riding with Gerben’s brother Ron. The group decided that Ron and I should ride together at the front of the group to see Gerben who was waiting for us. We both pulled up either side of him. After giving him a kiss on the head we both lost it. The two of us in tears. Quite a moment.

We composed ourselves for the finishing speeches and then Jeanne produced the total raised so far by the Giro di Muscoli. An astounding figure…

The four originators of the Giro di Muscoli. Jan, Colin, Gerben and Jeanne:

With a tail wind for 160km on the flat it was physically an easy peasy day. Emotionally though, a very different story.

Stage Stats: Stage 2: 162km; 1,040m climbing; 4,341 calories

Giro to date Stats: 2 Stages; 339km; 1,411m climbing; 10,966 calories

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